Cultivating gratitude is a form of cognitive – behavioral therapy with a focus on changing our thought patterns which can positively affect our current moods and level of overall happiness.
Today after I wrote a check for my annually increasing property taxes I had to express a statement of gratitude. Yes, my property taxes have gone up again this year as the value of my home is barely above the price I paid for it six years ago. However, in this current economy I am so grateful to be living in my own home and to have the finances to pay my taxes.
Although I would rather be on a Caribbean cruise with that money I am choosing to cultivate an attitude of gratitude by shifting my mindset from negativity to appreciation.
In all life situations we can cultivate an attitude of gratitude when we self-reflect, practice humility, and have empathy for others. Shifting FROM resentment for having to pay increased property taxes when I did not vote for or support the increases TO an attitude of gratitude requires a shift in mindset.
I needed to shift FROM negativity, blaming others for voting in increases, focusing on the problems of the economy and property values, the annoyances of the work I have to do on my property, the perceived injustices of people who do not own property are allowed to vote on taxes that only impact property taxes TO appreciating the fact that I am blessed with a house to live in, property to grow produce on, and private space to enjoy while I give credit to my step father for selling this property to me and my career for allowing me to earn the finances necessary to support my lifestyle.
When we are able to make the shift FROM…
- Blaming Others
- Focusing on Problems
- Perceived Injustices
- Giving Credit to Others
…we transform our mindset to a state of gratitude. Gratitude is being aware of and thankful for the good things in our lives. Gratitude is cultivated when we count all things as the blessings they actually are.
Today’s Simple Smile Igniter is to shift your mindset to a state of gratitude. What is dragging you down today? Go through the exercise I went through with my property taxes. Acknowledge what you need to shift away from, there is never any value in ignoring your feelings. Do not dwell on the negative feelings, simply acknowledge them, then shift to appreciating and giving credit to those who support you. As you shift your mindset to appreciation and gratitude you will find your mood lightens and your level of happiness increases. You may even do what I did on my property tax check and write in a “Thank you!” on the memo line of your life.